D. Allegations of Abuse and Neglect and Attorney-Client Privilege

1. General Duty to Report

A person having reasonable cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report. Tex. Fam. Code §261.101(a).

2. Mandatory Reporters

If a professional with reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected, or that a child is a victim of an offense under Tex. Penal Code § 21.11, and the professional has reasonable cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Tex. Fam. Code § 261.001, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after the hour the professional first has reasonable cause to believe that the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is a victim of an offense under Tex. Penal Code § 21.11. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.101(b).

The requirement to report child abuse and neglect under Tex. Fam. Code § 261.101 applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, an employee or member of a board that licenses or certifies a professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.101(c).

3. Privileged Communication

In a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, evidence may not be excluded on the ground of a privileged communication except in the case of communications between an attorney and client. Tex. Fam. Code § 261.202.